Thank you to all our viewers who donated big or small. Thanks to you we have completed this years fundraiser. A large donation came in today at about 10:40 and finished off the last portion of our goal. These donations mean so much more because this year our donors were not even getting the lovely views of our eagles we have come to expect. We know how hard it is to support the site during times when we are having problems, but thanks to our amazing loyal viewers, we are still able to push through problems like this and continue this project.
Our viewers are awesome!!
Help Save Our Eagle Cam!!
We want to be very clear about the fact that unfortunately nothing we are planning to do right now will give us back our wonderful view directly into the nest that we normally have for this season, but we do have a plan. It will not get us back to where we were, but it would improve our situation this year, and next season.
Many of our problems this year and in past have been from crowded electrical boxes, and unprotected equipment. We are trying to improve that situation, and deal with the fact that we have also relied on everything working the entire season each year, and as we all know equipment can and does fail. First we want to put all of our hardware in better enclosures that are more protected from severe weather and are not as crowded as the big box store enclosures we were using up till now. We would also like to be better prepared for these failures, by having backup equipment located in the tree for all our essential equipment that we cannot access during the nesting season. We want to have a stationary cam similar to the approach cam in the nest along with the PTZ nest cam so we could have a backup view of our eagles if one of the cameras fails during a season, like it has this year. We also would like to put duplicate microphones and IR illuminators in the tree so that if either of those components fail we have a backup. That would give us the flexibility to switch to a new microphone or turn the lights back on or even switch cameras if any of those components failed during a season. That would help us get around the issue of not being able to go up the tree mid season and fix a critical component. It could also help us with quality, because if for example a microphone sounds bad or distorted we might be able to switch microphones and clear that up.
Back to the topic at hand. What about HBEC 2017? We obviously can not go in the tree to fix anything during the nesting season, and that is a real problem. We still have annual operating costs whether we can see the eagles or not, and now we need to buy a new camera, and better connection equipment, and new equipment to house it all in. The best solution we have come up with so far is that we use our emergency funds we have left in the budget, and start our annual fundraiser to help buy a new pan-tilt-zoom camera (the kind that can move around and zoom etc… like our current nest cam) and some new equipment that could be used this year to give us a better view from the ground for the 2017 season, and then could replace our current equipment for the 2018 season.
So what is the plan?
First stage is we buy the new enclosures and connectors for our electrical equipment that will help protect them more from harsh environmental elements, and overcrowding. We will also go ahead and purchase a new PTZ camera to replace the current nest cam. We wont be able to place the cam in the tree this season, since we can’t risk disturbing the birds, but we can swap it out with the current approach cam. That would help us get a better look at our eagles from the ground this season, and we can place a long range IR illuminator on the pole with the new cam so that we could even see the nest at night. This first stage will set us up pretty well for next year. It would give us a much better look at the nest for this season too, and even if we can’t see into the nest like normal we hope that this would still give us a few good views of our eagles, and eaglets this year, and put us in good shape for next season.
The second stage of our plan would take place this summer. We would take the old PTZ nest cam down, and see if we can fix it once it is in hand. We can at the same time place the new Nest cam equipment (the new ptz camera, a new stationary camera, 2 new microphones, and 2 new illuminators, etc…) in the tree. We would then use either the current approach cam, or possibly the repaired PTZ cam as our 2018 approach cam. That would give us a really good setup for the 2018 season.
How Can I help? Donate Please!
Every year our Viewers are our biggest supporters, and the reason we do what we do, together we can do so much. We are counting on our viewers to help us save the cam by using this year’s annual fundraiser to raise the funds for our new equipment! We have some big ticket items including our nest cam that need to be replaced so this is no small goal. We know our viewers love our eagles, and we hope that if we can cover the operating costs this year everyone will pitch in another year and help us save the project by helping us buy our new equipment and get the site back up and running better than ever!
The Items we need for Phase 1 of the plan to get us a better view from the ground this year:
The Items we want for next year to help us protect the feed with backup systems:
Thank all of you so much for your never-ending patience and love of our eagles and this project!
Each of you who donate any amount play an important part in keeping this site up and running, and helping us share our eagles’ story with the world.